Ben Smith flags an important section of Obama's interview with Larry King, in which Obama discusses the rumors that he is a Muslim:

You know, this is actually an insult against Muslim-Americans, something that we don't spend a lot of time talking about. And sometimes I've been derelict in pointing that out.

You know, there are wonderful Muslim-Americans all across the country who are doing wonderful things. And for this to be used as sort of an insult, or to raise suspicions about me, I think is unfortunate. And it's not what America's all about.

It's about time Obama made a statement like this, as the man himself says. It's vitally important, not only for social equity here in the U.S., but also for our public diplomacy abroad that we don't let "Muslim" become a slur. It's especially easy for those on the left, in the process of defending Obama from factual smears, to make the term Muslim verboten -- I was criticized by a commenter last week for repeating right-wing smears when I mentioned Obama's Muslim background in a favorable way. To be clear, he is a Christian and was never raised in a Muslim household.

--Tim Fernholz

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